The Government has said that prisoners in Tanzania are enjoying several rights, including eight basic human rights, the National Assembly was told.
Minister for Home Affairs, Mwigulu Nchemba said such rights were in accordance with other international agreements such as the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
They also in accordance with The Prisons Act No. 34 of 1967 Cap 58 R.E 2002 and The Prisons (Prison Management) Regulations of 1968.
According to the minister, the rights include separation in terms of age, sex, health status, behaviour, type of offence; right to food and other essential items; right to communication and be visited by relatives and friends.
Other rights include right to worship; health services; right to appeal in case of grievances, and the right to play/sports.
“They are also enjoying the right for decent settlement where a prisoner needs 2.8sq metres within a cell of 3metre length and 1.2 metre width” noted Mr Nchemba.
The minister however admitted that there were several challenges facing the country’s prisons services in availing such rights – including overcrowding, meagre budgets for the prisons and pathetic conditions of the prisons because most were built years ago, mostly during the colonial era.
Reacting to MPs grave concerns on overcrowding and indecent settlements for prisoners, inmates and prison wardens, Mr Nchemba said that the government was currently renovating some of prisons facilities and wardens quarters.
He also hinted that the government would start building new prisons, where the old ones, which were currently in urban areas, would accommodate remandees to enable them attend court sessions as most courts are located in towns.
Mr Mwigulu added that the new prisons, which will be built in urban areas would be for prisoners that would be engaged in productive activities such as farming and livestock keeping.
Source:Daily News 18/05/2017